'90s Snack Foods We'd Still Inhale, Ranked
Is it just us, or does it seem like the list of things that are bad for you grows every other day? At this point, buying a snack that's not organic, free range, low sugar, high protein, high fiber and GMO-free is practically a crime. And if it comes in plastic packaging that might have BPA? Jail.
Sometimes, we miss the blissful ignorance of the snacks we obsessed over in the '90s. Half of them didn't count as food, but they fed our souls. Of all the '90s snack foods, these are by far the most nostalgic.
At school, opening up your lunchbox and seeing a box of Hi-C was the norm. The orange flavored Hi-C was released in 1957, with Fruit Punch, Poppin' Pink Lemonade or Orange Lavaburst finding their way into cafeterias by the '80s. It was more like sugar water than juice, with every variety including only 10% fruit juice. One carton has 6 teaspoons of sugar and your tongue was guaranteed to be bright orange or red after drinking it.
Hi-C was marketed as a healthy choice based purely on the addition of vitamin C. It's not, but we don't care. These juice boxes were our childhoods and we're fond of them even though the amount of red food dye is terrifying.
15. 3D Doritos
Doritos are still amazing now, especially the cool ranch and nacho cheese flavors. Back in the day, they also came in a 3D cone version. We're not going to say they were better than the standard order style of chip, but the novelty of a 3D chip made lunch time extra fun.
14. Trix Yogurt
Trix are for kids, and that was true 30 years ago too. Back then, Trix didn't just make cereal. The brand also made yogurt with kid-friendly flavors like watermelon and cotton candy. It was more sugar than yogurt, but when you're nine, that's a point in the snack's favor.
What even was Yoo-hoo? Chocolate water? Chocolate milk? It was somewhere in between, combining high-fructose corn syrup with water and whey. Chocolate milk would have been healthier, but Yoo-hoo was cheap and claimed to be better for you. Still, getting one in your lunch felt like getting away with something. No boring white milk here.
12. Rice Crispy Treats
We're not sure when people stopped making rice crispy treats, but they were much more popular in the '90s. Moms made them from scratch for school bake sales, but you could also take them to school in pre-packed, shiny blue foil. Crispy, crunch and superb lunch-room currency. If you wanted to trade for a Pop Tart, a Rice Crispy Treat boosted your odds.
Funyuns haven't gone extinct, but they were a huge hit in the '90s. Portable onion rings were a stroke of pure genius. They really did taste like fried onions, only crunchier. We still have no idea what those things are made of. Probably children's souls because they must be evil to be that good. We love them anyway.
Dunkaroos were an ideal snack if you really just wanted to eat frosting with a spoon. It was a dessert, not a snack, with around 10 tiny butter cookies made to be dunked in an attached tub of frosting. The vanilla frosting with rainbow sprinkles was indisputably the best. Luckily, Dunkaroos were relaunched in 2020.
9. Capri Sun
Capri Sun was another sack lunch staple. It definitely wasn't juice, but it was delicious. Carefully puncturing the foil at the top without squirting yourself in the eye was part of the fun. Strawberry kiwi, tropical punch and coastal cooler were the best. These were even better when they were kept in an ice cold cooler and brought out at the beach.
What could be better than sugar-infused yogurt? Sugar-infused yogurt in a tube. Go-Gurt was a total game changer. You didn't need a spoon to eat it and you could toss it in the freezer overnight and bring a tube of strawberry flavored fro-yo to lunch. It's still on the shelves today and we can see why.
7. Kudos Bars
Getting a Kudos Bar in your lunch box felt like getting away with murder. They were straight up candy bars mixing Rice Krispies, chocolate and M&Ms, but they were marketed as granola bars. The crunch on those babies? Supreme.
Any food that's bright red, green, blue and orange and contains virtually no fruit should be a red flag, but in the '90s, snack food without food dye was unheard of. Gushers were made of sugar, dried corn syrup, corn syrup, modified corn starch, fructose and fruit concentrates — and you know what? They were delicious. That juicy center that burst open when you took a bite made you everyone's best friend at snack time.
5. Fruit by the Foot
Fruit by the Foot was similar to Gushers in composition, but the method of delivery was the exact opposite. Instead of shaping gummy candy into tiny, gooey gems, Fruit by the Foot rolled it out into a long, tie-dyed strip. The 3-foot-long paper wrappers had tongue twisters on them to share after you were done snacking.
4. Hot Pockets
After school, the snacking fun continued. Hot Pockets were the pinnacle of after school snackage, considering they were rolled up slices of pizza filled with gooey cheese. If you didn't scald the roof of your mouth on a Hot Pocket at least once, consider your '90s kid badge revoked.
3. Pop Tarts
Pop Tarts were first introduced in 1964, and they've only gotten better since then. At first, no one was sure frosting could handle the toaster without melting, but lo and behold, it can. Pop-Tart variety packs are just as thrilling today as they were back then and now there are more than 20 flavors. S'mores is a classic, but pumpkin pie pop tarts are also a thing. Go get them. Your childhood is calling.
The invention of Uncrustables was such a genius move. So many kids hate crust, so Uncrustables deleted crust entirely. Just salty, creamy peanut butter, grape or strawberry jelly and soft white bread. Amazing. Now, they even have a peanut butter and honey version, plus a Nutella flavor.
Lunchables were the topic of heated third grade debates. We'll still argue which one was the best. It was the DIY Pizza & Treatza, paired with a Capri Sun. End of story. They brought that one back in 2017 and you might be able to still find one today. Stock up.